Tag Archives: white house vegetable garden

Vegetable Planting Guide


To go along with my last blog, Planning A Vegetable Garden, here is an excellent vegetable planting guide from Grangetto’s Farm and Garden Supply. The table lists the recommended times to sow vegetable seeds for our typical Southern California climate. If you’d like to get the guide in a PDF downloadable format to have as a reference, please click here.

Given the dire state of California’s water and how seriously it is impacting all of the farmers, the cost of produce will most like rise, and, given the drought’s seriousness and projected long-term duration, probably by a considerable amount. Creating your on “Victory Garden” would be one way to help save on your grocery bill. While California may be running out of water, what it has in abundance is sunshine.


Monthly Planting List

Here is a month-by-month planting guide through August:


Plant in the ground: lettuce, carrots, beets, parsnips, potatoes, celeriac, radishes, spinach,
Plant in containers: lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, (these last two can be started now, but they would have been better started earlier – their production will be reduced by the coming warmer weather), peas, fava beans, lentils, garbanzo beans


Plant in the ground: lettuce (and other salad greens), carrots, beets parsnips, radishes, spinach, purple beans,
Plant in containers: early tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, summer squash


Plant in the ground: purple beans, lettuce, radishes, purple beans, beets, radishes, spinach, set out plants of basil, early tomatoes, later in the month, sow early sweet corn,
Plant in containers: tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons, all squash,


Plant in the ground: beans of all colors, lettuce, radishes, beets, spinach, set out plants of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, you can start planting all corn now
Plant in containers: tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons & squash, okra,


Plant in the ground: all basil, eggplant, all melons and all squash (including cucumbers, set out plants of same and all tomatoes, eggplants and peppers) green and yellow beans and all the dried beans; corn too, if you have room
Plant in containers: As in April, but it’s getting late – peppers, eggplants and basil are still OK to start, but it’s getting late, did I say it was getting late?


Plant in the ground: all the above, but it’s getting late… you can still get a crop, but it will be cut shorter by any early cool weather; the last of the corn can go in early in the month
Plant in containers: after starting pumpkin seeds, take a nap


Plant in the ground only out of necessity – extreme necessity
Plant in containers: continue napping


Plant in the ground: nothing if you can avoid it
Plant in containers: towards the end of the month, in a shaded location, the first of the winter veggies can be started, cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, fava beans, leeks, shallots, onions…




Planning A Vegetable Garden


Vegetable Garden Planning for BeginnersI’ve just had a request from a client to replace a chunk of her back yard (all grass requiring a lot of water) with a vegetable garden. She decided that if she has to pay for water she might as well as get a return on her investment. I thought other folks might be interested in getting a return on their monthly LADWP (Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) contribution so here is a primer from The Old Farmer’s Almanack on Vegetable Garden Planning for Beginners.

Smaller Is Better

If you’re a beginner vegetable gardener, here are basics on vegetable garden planning: site selection, plot size, which vegetables to grow, and other gardening tips.

Remember this: It’s better to be proud of a small garden than to be frustrated by a big one!

One of the common errors for beginners is planting too much too soon and way more than anybody could eat or want. Unless you want to have zucchini taking up residence in your attic, plan carefully. Start small.

The Very Basics

First, here are some very basic concepts on topics you’ll want to explore further as you become a vegetable gardener extraordinaire:

  • Do you have enough sun exposure? Vegetables love the sun. They need at least 6 hours of full sun every day, and preferably 8.
  • Know your soil. Most soil can be enriched with compost and be fine for planting, but some soil needs more help. Vegetables must have good, loamy, well-drained soil. Check with your local nursery or local cooperative extension office about free soil test kits so that you can assess your soil type. See our article on preparing soil for planting.
  • Placement is everything. Avoid planting too near a tree, which will steal nutrients and shade the garden. In addition, a garden too close to the house will help to discourage wild animals from nibbling away your potential harvest.
  • Decide between tilling and a raised bed.  If you have poor soil or a bad back, a raised bed built with nonpressure-treated wood offers many benefits. See more about raised garden beds and how to build them.
  • Vegetables need lots of water, at least 1 inch of water a week. See more about when to water vegetables.
  • You’ll need some basic planting tools.  These are the essentials: spade, garden fork, soaking hose, hoe, hand weeder, and wheelbarrow (or bucket) for moving around mulch or soil. It’s worth paying a bit extra for quality tools.
  • Study those seed catalogs and order early.
  • Check your frost dates. Find first and last frost dates in your area and be alert to your local conditions.

Deciding How Big

A good-size beginner vegetable garden is about 16×10 feet and features crops that are easy to grow. A plot this size, planted as suggested below, can feed a family of four for one summer, with a little extra for canning and freezing (or giving away).

Make your garden 11 rows wide, with each row 10 feet long. The rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.

Vegetables that may yield more than one crop per season are beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, and turnips.

Suggested Plants for 11 Rows

The vegetables suggested below are common, productive plants but you’ll also want to contract your local cooperative extension to determine what plants grow best in your local area. Think about what you like to eat as well as what’s difficult to find in a grocery store or farmers’ market.

(Note: Link from each vegetable to a free planting and growing guide.)

(Note: If this garden is too large for your needs, you do not have to plant all 11 rows, and you can also make the rows shorter. You can choose the veggies that you’d like to grow!)

When to Plant?

Try our Garden Planner

It’s easy to plan your garden with our Almanac Garden Planner!
This planning tool spaces out your vegetables for you, provides sowing dates, and has many free garden plans for inspiration! Try it for free here.

Related Articles

Other Resources

There are numerous sites that deal with all aspects of this topic, so just search Google or check out these previous blogs: Growing Tomatoes in Southern CaliforniaVegetable Gardens – Good For Your Health & Pocketbook, and Creating Your Own Victory Garden.



Raspberries – The Talk Of The Table


If you haven’t heard, Raspberries are the “it” food of the moment. Dr. Oz swears by their Ketone qualities, and if you don’t know what Raspberry Ketone is, just read “Key Health Benefits of Raspberry Ketone” and you will learn more about Ketone than you’ll ever care to know.

But what I do know is that I love Raspberries, regardless of the fact that they contain, in a single one-cup serving (approximately 30 – 40 berries), 2/3 of your daily intake of manganese (and who knew you needed manganese), 1/2 of your daily dose of Vitamin C, most of you daily doses of vitamins A, B2, B3, potassium and copper and 1/3 your daily dose of fiber. My head spins at the though of how healthy I’m being when I pop a handful (that’s approximately 6 – 8 berries, in case you didn’t know) into my mouth. And if you don’t want to buy raspberries in the market here is a brief introduction on how to grow them.

Selecting Your Berries

It’s important to do a little homework before you start. Make sure that you’re selecting a Raspberry cultivar that is right for your Zone and check out the plant itself, because Raspberries come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors: red, purple, golden and white. I personally recommend choosing an everbearing cultivar because I’m not interested in only having my Raspberries for one month out of the year.

The everbearing variety called “Summit” will produce fruit until the first frost, so that not only can you eat your fill, you can share it with whomever you like. And whomever that might be, will like you a lot for your generosity.  But there are a number of everbearing cultivars that you can pick from or add to your berry patch including “Fall Gold”, “Golden Summit and “Golden Harvest.”

Planting Your Berries

A healthy, productive Raspberry plant will, over the years, produce numerous underground runners that will spread out from the original plant creating multiple new plants. So you should be careful about planting them too close to each other. If you’re unsure of the proper spacing, consult the nursery or the mail order house that you order your “dry-root” plant from.

Early spring is the ideal time to plant Raspberries, and while they can be planted during the summer, it may take them a year to produce fruit. And if you do order or purchase dry root plants, you’ll need to soak them in warm water (some people add half-strength B1 growth stimulant to the water) for six hours.

Pruning Your Berries

The normal method of pruning Raspberries means cutting all of the canes down to the ground in early spring. This will, however, prevent the plant from bearing fruit until the fall. Another approach is to cut the 1-year old canes to just below the fruiting area and cut the 2-year old canes off at ground level. This allows the 1-year old canes to begin bearing fruit in July and allows the new leafy canes to grow up between the old canes and begin producing fruit in late summer.

Now that you’ve got your Raspberries planted, just water, feed them and enjoy the bounty that they will provide.

For more information on growing Raspberries simply Google “How to grow Raspberries” and you will have multiple articles on the subject.


The Monthly Gardner – May – Growing Your Own Vegetables


May is the month to finish up your spring planting by focusing on those heat-loving vegetables. While many of Southern California’s native plants are beginning to shut down for the dry summer months, if you plant your vegetables now and keep them well mulched and watered, they should flourish throughout the summer and provide a bountiful return come fall.

As I wrote in March and April’s blogs, “Creating Your Own Victory Garden” and “Recession Proves Fertile Ground For Fruits & Vegetables,” more and more people are recognizing that the smart thing to do is to take a portion of their beautifully manicured landscape, dig it up and turn it into a vegetable garden – following in the footsteps of Michelle Obama’s famous White House vegetable garden. This isn’t just about saving money at the grocery store, it’s about growing your own and eating you own delicious, natural (even organic) produce.

Planting Vegetables

You can either sow the seeds directly in the soil, or germinate them indoors in individual containers (see Planting Vegetable from Seed) that can be planted directly into the soil. Here is a list of vegetable that should be planted this month:

lima and snap beans, beets, carrots, celery, chard, chicory, chives, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, leeks, warm-season lettuces, melons, okras, green onions, peanuts, peppers, pumpkins, soybeans, warm-season spinaches, squashes, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

Here are some additional tips for intelligent planting:

  • Interplant cucumbers and beans to repel cucumber beetles and prevent the wilt diseases they carry
  • Plant potatoes to repel squash bugs
  • Plant corn in blocks of at least four rows in each direction to assure good pollination and continue planting only through the end of June, as later planting suffer from severe smut when maturing in September
  • Corn stalks make convenient pole bean supports if the beans are planted after the corn is six inches tall, so that the beans don’t outgrow the corn

Using Trellises

A trellis provides support for greater vegetable and fruit production per square foot of soil and for longer periods because more leaf area is exposed to sunlight and more air circulates. Vines grown on a trellis provide shade for a porch, patio or wall. Crops grown on a trellis are easier to pick and cleaner, not available to snails and slugs and not prone to ground rot.

Some vines need more guidance and anchoring onto the trellis than others, but all will grow well with proper fertilization and irrigation.


Maintain a good mulch of organic matter covering garden soil throughout the summer. This prevents the cracking of the soil surface, holds in moisture, encourages earthworms, moderates soil temperatures for optimum root growth, improves the soil as it decomposes and prevents weeds from germinating.

A two-to-four inch layer of mulch decreases evaporation from the soil by 70% or more, allowing you to water less often (but still deeply).

For more May gardening tips, please see May Gardening Tips for Los Angeles County Residents, which is the resource for this blog.


Creating Your Own Victory Garden

Word War II Victory Garden Poster

The term “Victory Garden” came into being during World War I, was brought out of retirement during World War II and while it’s not actually in use – except by me – its concept – people growing their own vegetables – is making yet another appearance in our nation’s gardens.

As I mentioned in the August 2011 edition of Eva’s Notes & News, (“Vegetable Gardens – Great For You Health & Pocketbook“), our country’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, turned 1,100 square feet of White House lawn into a vegetable garden, planting 55 varieties of vegetables. The Obama family and their guests consume much of this produce. What isn’t consumed at the White House is donated to a local soup kitchen and food bank. Good nutrition is the reason behind Michelle’s decision to plant and it’s an awfully good one for anyone interested in healthy eating.

To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News

Vegetable Gardens – Good For Your Health & Pocketbook

White House Vegetable Garden

Given our country’s financial situation – the debt crisis, the drop in our credit rating, the falling stock market and the rising cost of food – it makes perfect sense for the First Lady to turn a portion of the White House lawn into a vegetable garden.

I mean, who needs all that manicured grass when that earth could be put to so much better use – putting fresh veggies on the White House table and saving a dollar or two in the process. Of course, the same could be said for most of our own yards and … what do you know … some of my clients are actually considering that very possibility. In fact, I have one that has asked me to create a plan to turn her entire front yard into a vegetable garden that will be viable and productive year round.

Rather than focus the newsletter on the gardening aspect of planting vegetables, I thought it would be interesting to look at a vegetable garden from a nutritional point of view. So I’ve asked the lovely and very energetic Ruth Smith, who happens to be a member of my BNI chapter (West Hollywood Professionals) and is co-founder of Sage Wellness, to share her knowledge on the nutritional value of certain garden vegetables.

Continue reading . . .  Eva’s Notes & News